By Michael Payne:
Many millions of Americans are currently experiencing intense, unrelenting stress and feelings of despair and futility as they try to cope with a myriad of personal problems largely brought on by this nation’s economic crisis. They are not unlike the millions of people in the Middle East that find themselves caught up in protests and violent civil disobedience; in fact they have one thing very much in common with them.
And that is that humans, no matter the nation or the culture, living under these kinds of extremely stressful conditions of despair and hopelessness, will eventually reach a breaking point when they have had all that they can take and they just can’t take anymore; and then they react. Americans haven’t reached that point, at least not yet. But conditions are continuing to deteriorate and many signs now indicate that a societal implosion is looming on America’s horizon.
What we’re talking about is an inward collapse of this society and its institutions. What exact form this collapse would take, how severe and far reaching it might be, and what it might do to this nation and its people is difficult to predict. But it’s not the least bit farfetched to think that, at some point in the not too distant future, the American people will reach that breaking point and there will be a violent societal reaction.
Let’s consider when that might happen and what would trigger such a reaction:
When millions of Americans completely give up on any possibility of finding a decent job in an atmosphere where there is no job creation by either the government or the business sector; when corporations continue to eliminate jobs in the U.S. and outsource them to China, India, and other nations and our government does nothing to reverse it.
When millions more Americans lose their homes to foreclosure and then, to their dismay, find that they cannot afford to rent. When personal bankruptcies due to home foreclosures and monumental health care costs overwhelm millions of Americans, leaving many of them destitute.
When America’s financial institutions continue to hoard money and refuse to make loans to small businesses and individuals and, at the same time, devise new ways to increase service charges, ATM fees, and assess an array of penalties involving overdrawn accounts or minimum checking balances.
When the number of homeless people in America and those on food stamps double or even triple. When church charities and food pantries are overwhelmed by those trying but failing to make ends meet.
When the U.S. dollar continues to rapidly decline in value and rampant inflation makes it extremely difficult to feed and clothe a family.
When our states that cannot solve their massive deficit problems lay off even larger numbers of police and firefighters; when these states decimate our education systems by laying off more and more teachers; when they eliminate many social services to the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the mentally ill.
When the cost of gasoline skyrockets and most people can no longer afford long commutes to their jobs or when trying to find a job. When the costs of home heating and electricity become unbearable.
When those many millions of Americans under great stress, who are just trying to survive, see corporate profits rise while their incomes go down, CEO’s getting massive bonuses and the wealthiest of Americans finding ways to get more tax breaks and stashing their savings in tax exempt shelters.
When people see the taxes they pay being foolishly and recklessly wasted on needless wars that accomplish nothing except to strengthen the vice grip of the military-security complex over this country.
When the millions of Americans who live in extreme poverty in this nation’s cities can find no work of any kind, when their neighborhoods are overrun with violent crime by roaming gangs of young kids that include their own.
When those millions of Americans throw up their hands and say that “enough is enough” and “I can’t take it any more,” and decide that they will do whatever is necessary to survive, no matter what the consequences..
It is not difficult to understand how such an implosion could take place in America. All one has to do is to take our most critical domestic problems, such as I have outlined above, and project them into the future. You will then find a point at which our combination of problems will reach a boiling point that can no longer be relieved and there will follow an eruption in this society, the likes of which we have never seen.
Such an implosion might also be described as “blowback.” Blowback is defined as ” an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions.” That is what happens when people react with violence of many different forms when they feel that they have been harmed or taken advantage of by those in positions of power and they want to strike out at the perceived perpetrators of such actions.
So under such circumstances America could experience great turmoil, great violence, massive protests, rioting in the streets and other happenings that would be very detrimental to this nation’s stability. We currently live in very tenuous times and, yet, what we are experiencing is nothing compared to what may be rapidly heading our way.
When a societal implosion rocks America, what is going to happen to those greedy giant corporations who made obscene profits when they outsourced millions of American jobs to overseas slave labor? Who is going to buy their products? These corporations will see their profits plummet when those without jobs cannot buy their products and those with jobs cannot afford them due to rampant, out of control inflation. Many will go bankrupt.
What’s going to happen to those financial manipulators on Wall Street that have used every conceivable way to suck the lifeblood out of the American people when there is no more blood left? What people will be left in America that can be taken advantage of by these financial predators? Maybe they will have to turn on each other and start to drain each other’s wealth through devious tactics.
What about those wealthiest of Americans who live in opulence in their penthouses or in gated, heavily guarded communities? Will they become isolated, unable to go out in public among people who are in a dangerous mood? What good will their great wealth do them if they cannot feel free to live their lives as they have; when they feel threatened by the chaos and danger all around them?
Actually it doesn’t have to come to this; such a scenario could be avoided but it will not be easy. The riots and extreme violence that have happened in other parts of the world must be avoided at all costs. This government and the business community must recognize the immense dangers that lie ahead if positive, constructive steps are not taken to alleviate many of the problems that the American people face. We can no longer follow the disastrous course we are taking.
But what exactly must be done? Well, I have writer’s cramps from the many times that I have listed all the things that I think our government must do to turn America into a new direction. So, I will simply boil it down to only two things that I believe must be done to prevent such a domestic disaster:
#1: This president, the Congress and the military establishment must take positive, irreversible steps to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and end our involvement in Libya ASAP. Troops should be returned to the U.S. beginning by July 31 of this year and be fully completed by the end of 2012. The American military empire must be largely scaled back and replaced with effective security systems that do not involve massive wars.
#2: This president and this Congress, together with the business sector must, collectively, develop the most aggressive and innovative job creation program in this nation’s history, even greater than the series of work programs that were instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt during the New Deal. This massive jobs program would have to be of the magnitude or even greater than the ambitious program that put a man on the moon.
Just these two great initiatives would be enough to begin the process to turn America away from its disastrous, debilitating wars and into a new direction for the future. With those two foundations for recovery in place, it would pave the way for other critical initiatives. Making this happen would demand that the political bickering, the obstructive tactics, the corporate control, and the vacillating would have to be replaced by logical, rational, creative thinking with all parties dedicated to putting all Americans back to work.
That’s exactly what must happen. But what if that ambitious objective fails to materialize because the parties mentioned will not change, have no intention of working together to do what is right for America, and they continue to maintain a state of gridlock? What then will happen, what will be the consequences?
That’s very easy to predict. Down the road, before very long, the people of America will finally reach that breaking point, when they will have had enough, when they will find that they can take no more; and, then, this nation will experience a societal implosion of unthinkable proportions.
Author’s Bio: Michael Payne is an independent progressive who writes articles about domestic social and political matters as well as American foreign policy. He is a U.S. Army veteran. His major goal is to convince Americans that our perpetual wars must end before they bankrupt our nation. His articles have appeared on Online Journal, Information Clearing House, Peak Oil, Google News and websites around the world.